The architectural style of the High Middle Ages in Western Europe, which emerged from Romanesque and Byzantine forms in France during the later 12th century. Its great works are cathedrals, characterized by the pointed arch, the rib vault, the development of the exterior flying buttress, and the gradual reduction of the walls to a system of richly decorated fenestration. Gothic architecture last until the 16th century, when it was succeeded by the classical forms of the Renaissance. In France and Germany one speaks of the Early, High, and Late Gothic; The French middle phase is referred to as Rayonnant, the late phase as Flamboyant. In English architecture the usual divisions are Early English, Decorated, and Perpendicular.